ISLAMABAD: As many as 3,517,209 out-of-school children have been admitted to schools by Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) under its initiative Waseela-e-Taleem Programme (WeT).
According to a document available with The Express Tribune, the highest number of such students was reported from Punjab, 1,347,795.
In Sindh 1,172,799 children; in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 780,078, in Balochistan 75,999; in Azad Jammu and Kashmir 70,262 children; in Gilgit-Baltistan 55,546 children and in erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas 14,732 children were enrolled in schools.
As per the document, the WeT admitted 2,196,942 out-of-school children from 50 districts of the country in schools from 2012 to June 2018. Another more than 1,300,000 were admitted into schools from June 2018 to June 2019.
It may be recalled that BISP started its WeT initiative in 2012 and initially enrolled a total of 75,000 children of less developed five districts, which included Malakand (protected area), Mirpur, Skardu, Nushki and South Karachi. The children were given Rs200 stipend per month.
Later, the administration of BISP expanded its working to over 27 districts: Awaran, Bagh, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Bannu, Charsaddah, Diamer, Gilgit, Gwadar, Haripur, Jhalmagsi, Qambar Shahdadkot, Khushab, Kohat, Kotli, Larkana, Loralai, Mansehra, Musakhel, Narowal, Noshera, Rawalpindi, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sialkot, Sukkur and Thatta.
BISP had set an initial target of admitting 1,300,000 of a total of 2,653,305 out-of-school children of above districts into schools. The target has been achieved before the stipulated time, says the document.
The BISP set another target of admitting more than 300,000 children into school by June 2017 and including over 18 less developed districts in the WeT Programme.
Sources said that BISP has achieved the target as well and the programme has been expanded to over 18 districts and the amount of support money has also been raised from Rs200 per month to Rs250 per month.
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